Saturday, September 26, 2009

My dinner with Ahmadinejad

We didn't talk about the secret nuclear plant, but dining with Ahmadinejad revealed the way forward for US-Iran relations

Stephen Kinzer, Friday 25 September 2009

The most insightful observation I heard from any of the guests came from Hillary Mann Leverett, a former diplomat who participated in US-Iran talks in 2002 that she said produced "very positive" prospects for co-operation on issues related to Afghanistan. She said those talks fell apart for reasons "that had nothing to do with Afghanistan", which has led her to conclude that future talks will succeed only if they address all outstanding issues dividing the countries, rather than focusing on a few specific problems.

I came away from this dinner believing that there might still be a prospect for a US-Iran breakthrough – but only if the job is given to visionary diplomats like those who broke bread with Ahmadinejad in New York."

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